Tombstone (1993)

By: Jake Peroni (Two Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Living in the Old West must’ve sucked. Everyone’s clothes probably smelled like wet horses and day-old shit. Throw in some random rapes and justifiable murders, and you have a living hell to EVERYONE that’s not an eighteen year old boy. (Sounds like paradise to them!)

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“Did someone say rape and murda yo?”

No matter how hard you try to raise a family, there is really no rewarding outcome. All that hard work and your kids are all going to get raped or robbed on a stagecoach eventually. Things like the common cold or an untreated ingrown hair can cripple or even kill you. No thanks. In fact, most stories out of the Old West glorify the American Outlaw. Creating a celebrity out of a murderous, thieving man. Most…except perhaps the true story of one of the most amazing men to ever live through it.

Wyatt_Earp_portrait

Back when a mustache ride only cost a buffalo nickel.

Wyatt Earp has just about as much folklore as George Washington. By all accounts the facts regarding his life were truly amazing and he deserves to be deemed an American role model.

The movie Tombstone tells the story of Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) after he already acquired fame, and attempted to move to a small town in Arizona with his family to settle down. His brothers (Sam Elliot and Bill Paxton) join his opium abusing wife (I assume it’s opium, I think everyone was on opium in those days) in an his failed attempt at a normal life, as they butt heads with a ruthless gang of cowboys, called the… Cowboys. The tension escalates to the famous “showdown at the OK Coral” which sparks a vendetta war between the Cowboys and Wyatt, who is reunited with his famous yet sickly friend Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer)

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A Toast

Tombstone is a film that was released right around the same time as another Western staring Kevin Costner, Wyatt Earp. Wyatt Earp was a longer, drawn out (boring), version of Tombstone. Although the details parallel each other, Tombstone makes more of an attempt to entertain over the other film, which ends up a biography of Wyatt.

Doc Holliday is notably Val Kilmer’s greatest role. It glorifies the talented gunfighter and gambler, who was slowly dying of tuberculosis, with a role defining the bond of friendship.

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The film did it’s very best to separate itself from the biography of Wyatt Earp and create a fun Western filled with action, vengeance, and violence (the best parts of any Western).

Curly Bill (Powers Boothe) was the leader of the ruthless Cowboys. By all accounts, if I were alive in those days, I would TOTALLY want to be in that gang. Curly Bill was always laughing and drinking. Just seemed like a fun gang to be in. The film almost makes the “Goody Two Shoes” Earp brothers out to be real buzzkills. The clashes between the Cowboys and the Earps set the film up for the dramatic resolution.

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I TRULY wanted to give this movie a Toast rating.  But couldn’t bring myself to do so because of its split personality. The run time of the film was an apparent concern in editing. We wanted MORE of the war against the Cowboys, instead of it being condensed to an unrealistic series of montages  (not even a good montage at that). They tried rushing the entire second half of the movie by selling guys a sort of stereotypical “bacon boner” of gunplay, racing horses, and shouting. It was a complete 180 from the first half of the movie. Details were brushed over, and the plot was shredded in order to paint Wyatt as some type of invincible superhero hunting down the Cowboys. It could’ve been handled with a lot more finesse and left an unsatisfied feeling for what could’ve been a solid, enjoyable Western.

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Verdict

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A Western for people who never watch Westerns. This film is a cross genre, bridging a true Western audience with an action movie while attempting to chronicle factual events. Perhaps if the Kevin Costner version of Wyatt Earp wasn’t simultaneously being made, they would have not felt the need to edit this film down, and could have made a longer, complete, and consistent story… THAT would’ve been a masterpiece.

 

Drinking Games

Take a Drink: whenever a Cowboy’s “red sash” touches the ground

Take a Drink: every time Doc Coughs

Take a Drink: every time Sam Elliot seems disinterested in something

Take a Drink:anytime you hear the name “Wyatt”

Do a Shot: anytime Doc Holiday takes a drink

 

 

About Jake Peroni

Bestselling Author, Distinguished Film Critic, Cutting Edge Journalist, Respected Reporter, Successful Businessman... Big Fat Sh*tty Liar. Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

5 comments

  1. Doc Holiday was one of Val Kilmer’s best roles, but not sure if it was his absolute best. He did an unbelievable job as Jim Morrison in The Doors.

  2. Too bad his career has tanked due to him being kinda a douche by all accounts- he does have talent.

  3. Listen, Ice Man will be back. He’s doing Mark Twain one man shows with a few extra fat muscles these days… Eventually the drugs he took bout 10 years ago will wear off and he’ll make his comeback. Douche is so hot right now, he’s just pickin his moment.

  4. Just reread the review. I NEED to start saying “Bacon Boner” alot more often.

  5. Ha, excellent career analysis, Jake!

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